Kirtley takes on winter of work to amend action

James Kirtley, the former England fast bowler, is determined to amend his bowling action after failing an independent assessment on it at the end of the 2005 season. Kirtley was ordered to undergo biomechanical testing at Loughborough by the England and Wales Cricket Board after twice being reported by umpires during the summer.

The tests concluded that Kirtley's right arm straightened by more than 15 degrees, the maximum level of extension permitted by the International Cricket Council, and he has been suspended from bowling until the problem has been corrected.

Kirtley must now prove to the ECB that he has done so before he is allowed to bowl for Sussex in 2006. The 30-year-old will work on his action during the winter at the National Academy in Loughborough with Troy Cooley, the England bowling coach, and will be re-examined once the pair feel the problem is rectified.

If Kirtley passes this test he will be free to play for his county. Yet should he fail he will have to undergo further coaching and pass a subsequent test before being allowed back in the game.

It is not the first time Kirtley has been in this position. Throughout his career there have been murmurings about the legality of his whippy action, and his England debut against Zimbabwe in October 2001 was overshadowed when he was reported by the match referee at the end of the one-day international.

"I'm frustrated to find myself in this position again," said Kirtley. "We just have to go about the right process and be confident of clearing my name. I know what's involved and that'll put me in good stead. The last time I did it I had a very successful summer so I can hopefully look forward to a successful 2006.

"At any time we can ask for a second analysis and if I am cleared I can continue to bowl. Would this break a lesser man? It might well do. The thought of jumping on a plane and going off with a one-way ticket somewhere is quite appealing but you can't do that.

"I've had a very successful career that I'm very proud of and I don't want something like this to put a slur on all that I have achieved."

Since the ICC introduced a 15-degree tolerance level in 2004 several bowlers have been reported. Each spent time working with a coach, changed their bowling action and returned to the game. Very few, if any, bowlers throw deliberately but this has not prevented it from becoming a taboo subject in cricket. Batsmen become paranoid about the actions of bowlers, and being called a "chucker" is, for a bowler, akin to being called a cheat.

Eradicating the problem for good will be almost as hard as losing the unfavourable tag that comes with being reported. When a bowler is strong and fresh his action tends to remain pure, but once the body becomes tired bad habits creep in. Timing can go awry, and in an effort to bowl at the same pace more balls are likely to be thrown.

All bowlers straighten their arm to some degree, but the amount can also vary depending on which type of delivery is bowled. Indeed, when Kirtley was tested after being reported in 2001 it was found that his arm straightened more when he bowled a yorker.

Research has found that there are basically two types of bowling action. There are the javelin throwers - bowlers who bowl with an open-chested action and drop the left shoulder as the arm comes over - and discus throwers, bowlers who start side on, lock their arm out straight at an early stage and swing it through.

Those bowlers whose actions resemble a javelin thrower, of which Kirtley is one, consistently straighten their arm more than those with a technique that resembles a discus thrower.

Heath Streak is set to retire from international cricket after accepting an invitation to captain Warwickshire in 2006. The former Zimbabwe all-rounder replaces Nick Knight who stood down from the job at the end of the 2005 season.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific